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French fighter jets flew over

(Bloomberg) — French military jets flew over Libya, ready to enforce an air-exclusion zone to halt Muammar Qaddafi’s attacks on rebels, as Western leaders met in Paris to consider their next steps.

The planes were in the air not far from Libya this afternoon and were ready to carry out air strikes if there are orders from President Nicolas Sarkozy, a military official with knowledge of the preparations said on condition of anonymity.

Qaddafi’s forces attacked the rebel stronghold of Benghazi today in defiance of international demands for a cease-fire, television stations reported. Al Jazeera cited the head of the rebel council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, as saying bombing raids took place in the eastern port city of 1 million people.

Pro-Qaddafi forces entered parts of Benghazi, Al Arabiya TV reported. Forces advancing included tanks, it said, adding that 11 fighters loyal to Qaddafi were killed. A BBC correspondent reported seeing government tanks on a bridge. TV channels showed footage of a fighter jet being shot down.

(AP) — Six Danish F-16 fighter jets landed Saturday at the U.S. air base in Sigonella, Sicily, and a half-dozen U.S. aircraft arrived elsewhere as the military buildup mounted in Italy for possible action against Libya.

Danish air force spokesman Lars Skjoldan said the six F-16s would be ready for operation in Libya by Sunday.

Italy has offered the use of seven military bases to enforce the U.N.-authorized no-fly zone over Libya and protect Libyan civilians from Moammar Gadhafi’s troops.

In addition to the aircraft already in Italy, Norway said it was prepared to send six F-16 fighter jets to enforce the no-fly zone, but that they wouldn’t be operational for five to six days.

One of the two British bases in Cyprus, meanwhile, will be supporting AWACS surveillance aircraft assigned to monitor the no-fly zone over Libya, said spokesman Kristian Gray.

The aircraft are already at the Royal Air Force’s Akrotiri base on the south coast of the island, he told The Associated Press on Saturday. Also deployed to the base is a team of British personnel to coordinate movement of British aircraft.

German Foreign Minister criticized by domestic media

(Reuters) – German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle came under domestic fire on Saturday for opting out of any military involvement in Libya, drawing accusations of siding with dictators rather than Berlin’s NATO allies.

Foreign policy experts, the opposition and media commentators expressed everything from puzzlement to scorn at Berlin’s abstention on Thursday in a U.N. Security Council resolution authorising a no-fly zone over Libya.

The centre-left daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung made one of the strongest attacks on Westerwelle and Chancellor Angela Merkel for deciding to take no part in any military effort to protect Libyan civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. “For the first time since its inception, the Federal Republic has pulled up the anchor that secures it to the West,” wrote commentator Daniel Broessler.

Broessler equated the abstention with a direct vote against Germany’s NATO allies on the United Nations Security Council which supported the resolution.

“Now Merkel and Westerwelle are responsible for Germany voting against Americans, British and French, but with the Chinese, Russians, Brazilians and Indians — against our most important allies in the West and on the side of dictators, autocrats and two distant democracies.”

Since World War Two, Germans have been traditionally hostile to foreign military interventions and Merkel’s coalition faces a series of difficult regional elections this weekend and next.

Westerwelle, who leads the liberal Free Democrats in the coalition, attracted criticism of his performance after becoming foreign minister in 2009 but this had eased recently.

On Saturday he defended his position. “I see myself coming from a tradition of moderation when it comes to military deployments,” he told Spiegel magazine.

3 thoughts on “French fighter jets flew over

  1. If the motive is genuine, it is a noble deed that US, UK, French and other western nations finally come together to help Libyans free themselves from Gaddafi’s grip. However, lets look another scenario. If the Ethiopian people revolted, would we see such a passionate pursuit to help them free from Zenawi’s tyranny? I seriously doubt that will be the case. Then, one should extend the sensible question of, Why the west always be selective in helping oppressed people to come out of their ruler’s iron feast? Why they love to rush in to places like Libya, Iraq Kuwait and look the other way around when the people in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Burma are still agonizing from totalitarianism and vying to be free? Is there motive? Well it spells like this … O I L … Less than Six month after Zenawi massacred his protestors on the streets of Addis Ababa, the US congress approved a hefty 400M USD aid package to the regime in Addis. Long before Tunisia, Egypt or Libya, there was Ethiopian’s popular uprising against repression but only to be left by their own on dark road to face brutal gangsters. The other day I saw a US congress man on CNN declaring “Democracy and freedom are God given rights to all people around the globe and we [US] should stand with them”. That is a well phrased quote except for its lack of authenticity. I believe revolution comes with in not from the other way. Ethiopians needs to stand first to demand their “God given rights” but the West need to stop their selective way of who should be free or who should be ignored. If they were encouraging a brutal dictator in Ethiopia and marching to Libya to exterminate another dictator, it is confusing at best and also it is racist, unjust and completely deceitful.

  2. Comment # 1 said is all well! The westerns dont give a damn about african people in fact they are the one creating all conflict between brothers in africa If they wanna help poor people why not helping Ethiopians and many other african countries whose suffering under dictatorial regime????

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